Cape Town - Coinciding with the start of the sixth UN Global Road Safety Week (GRSW), the Department of Transport and Public Works kicked off its Learner Road Safety campaign at Rosewood Primary School in Bonteheuwel.
The UN Road Safety Week is observed annually from May 13 to May 17, by various countries across the world and sees road safety organisations lobby policymakers to institute lower driving speeds in efforts to combat increasing incidents of road-related accidents.
This year the road safety community is calling for policymakers to reduce the speed limit of vehicles in school zone areas from 60km/h to 30km/h.
Transport and Public Works road safety practitioner Jean Carlo Ongansie said as part of its road safety initiatives, the department was joining the call by the global community for policymakers to reduce the speed limit in school zone areas to 3km/h in an effort to address the increasing number of road accident incidents involving school children in local communities.
“Today we are here at Rosewood Primary, to facilitate a picket by learners advocating for the speed limit to be lowered to 30km/h in communities with schools.
"Children are impulsive persons so this is an important call to see to their safety, especially as they move to and from school. We are also advising motorists to be on the lookout for children as they drive in communities where children are often seen playing outside,” Ongansie said.
Rosewood Primary Principal Patricia Arries said the schooling community has witnessed incidents, where drivers do not abide by the rules or where children are knocked over by motorists who do not pay attention to road rules in areas where children move around frequently.
“Just last week, a child was knocked over in front of Disa Primary School, just across from us. It would really help us greatly if the speed limit was reduced around schools, because then motorists would be forced to slow down in areas where there are schools for the safety of learners moving to and from the educational institutions.”
In statistics recorded by Child Safe SA and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital for children aged between 0 to 12, 620 children were involved in traffic-related accidents in 2021.
Today the department is expected to be staging yet another learner road safety initiative, featuring several local schools in Mitchells Plain.